Global wine production is set to fall to its lowest level in over 50 years, according to a new report from the Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV).
The OIV found overall production is down 8.2% on 2016 levels to an estimated at 246.7 mhl. Estimated global consumption sits between 240.5 to 245.8 mhl.
Production levels were at a historic low in Italy (39.3 mhl), France (36.7 mhl), Spain (33.5 mhl) and Germany (8.1 mhl) due to extreme weather events, including frost and drought. Out of the European producing countries, Portugal (6.6 mhl), Romania (5.3 mhl), Hungary (2.9 mhl) and Austria (2.4 mhl) were the only countries to see a rise compared with 2016.
Elsewhere, the United States grew production to 23.3 mhl, while South Africa maintained its output at 10.8 mhl. South America production increased compared with the low levels of 2016, particularly in Argentina (11.8 mhl) and Brazil (3.4 mhl). In Chile (9.5 mhl), vinified production remained low. Australian production grew to 13.9 mhl grew, while New Zealand experienced a slight decline to 2.9 mhl.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) said the news was of 'real concern' to UK businesses, with the wine industry generating £19.9billion in economic activity, 172,000 direct jobs in roles such as bottling which take place in the UK, with a further 105,000 indirectly employed throughout the supply chain.
Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, said: 'Following frost and drought across Europe, and wildfires across the USA, winemakers globally are facing a drastically reduced harvest this year. It’s a keen reminder that wine production remains at the mercy of the weather. As the biggest per capita importer of wine in an international market, the UK is bound to feel the effects of an increasingly challenging environment. Prices for consumers will inevitably rise.
'The last thing UK wine businesses, their employees or British consumers need now is another rise in excise duty in the Chancellor’s second Budget on 22 November. Philip Hammond should take note and freeze duty.'